| Theory of hermeneutics inspires serious considerations of the relationship between the author and the text, and between the text and the reader; reception-history has become a major concern in literary study. Canonical works that have been continuously read and reread by succeeding generations have received much critical attention. Among the great literary works of China, Hong Sheng's (1645-1704) Changshengdian deserves careful study. A play loved by the Chinese, Changshengdian's spectacular reception results from its text and its performance. Interestingly, the transmission of Hong's artistry owes much to his friend Wu Yiyi. Right after Hong finished his text, Wu contributed an annotated, scene-by-scene commentary to the play. Hong warmly welcomed that. The discernible interactions between Hong and Wu in the commentated text suggest the possibility of a two-way interpretation. The convergences and divregences of artistic understanding between the author's aesthetic principles and the critic's comprehension of the author's artistry through his own aesthetic experience are worthy of close examination. Wu's commentary traverses poetry and narrative literature, bringing Chinese dramatic theory to a new height. Especially noteworthy are his elaboration on the "qing cult" and his employment of narratology in analyzing the text of a chuanqi drama. This paper explores the dialogue between Hong's subjective expression and Wu's commentary, and evaluates its influences on later works in the process of canonization of Chinese drama. We address the following issues: How did Wu play the role of "ideal reader" and attempt to establish a new standard of artistic criticism through his interpretation of the play? Concerning the "repertoires" of the play, what is the basis for Hong's and Wu's shared understanding of producing a chuanqi play? As the author, how did Hong define his own work through the "preface" and "introduction?" In terms of "textual strategies," how did Wu evaluate Hong's accomplishments in dramatic composition and construction? As a reader and commentator, how did Wu, through effective reading of the text, forge a comprehensive view, which showed his perceptive understanding of chuanqi's dramatic techniques and performing art, of Hong's play? Finally, we will evaluate Wu's position and influence in the commentary tradition of Chinese drama.